500 MHz iBook Keeps Going, iBook Video Repair, a WiFi Card That Costs Less than AirPort, and More
- Dual USB iBook Keeps Going and Going
- Dell Has the Best Replacement for the 12" PowerBook
- Wegener Media's iBook Video Repair Service
- Cheaper Than AirPort WiFi for Many PowerBooks
- More Thoughts on WiFi Hotspot Insecurity
- Thanks from a Eudora Fan
My 500 MHz iBook belonged to a Wycliffe Bible translator who traveled all over the world with it. I don't know what languages it worked on, but I do know a few of the places it went. It was given to me when I worked at Wycliffe in 2006. I've used it every day since then, including today. It's kinda beat and scratched up on the outside, and the letters are starting to wear off the keyboard now.
I notice, compared to my niece's almost brand new 600 MHz iBook, my well worn 500 MHz iBook has a slight pink hue to the screen. I guess that's normal for the bulbs to change color with age? I suspect my old 500 MHz iBook could actually wear out or go completely obsolete before it dies of video card failure. I don't think that would be likely with one of the newer iBooks though.
Wycliffe Bible Translators, eh? Good on you.
A tough old iBook you have there. I think the problems tended to affect some units and not others, and atypically, in the case of dual USB iBooks, it seems that the Revision A (500 MHz) models were the least troublesome.
The "pink screen" is an indication that the CCFL backlight tube is getting tired. One of my Pismos has been like that for the past four years or so. I have a good screen assembly I could use to replace it with no need to resort to soldering, but I never seem to get around to it.
I wasn't a Bible translator myself. I was in charge of energy conservation controls systems for the heating and air conditioning on the Dallas campus. I was also briefly under contract with the Orlando campus to produce a new radio show, which never happened unfortunately. I haven't been overseas or in the mission field. I have absolutely no language translation ability! (laugh)
I'm not worried about the pinkish screen. I never noticed it until I had this practically unused 600 MHz iBook sitting right beside my well worn 500 MHz iBook. I noticed the firmware on the 600 MHz iBook is different from the 500 MHz iBook. The 500 MHz iBook will go to sleep and power down my Macally FireWire hard drive, but the 600 MHz iBook leaves that same hard drive powered up when it goes to sleep. That's kinda weird. (puzzled look)
Those who control energy conservation also serve.
Odd that the 600 MHz machine leaves the external hard drive powered up. Not sure what would cause that.
The pink screen thing will gradually get worse, but in my experience it's a slow deterioration.
From André in response to 12", 4 Pound Averatech N2700 Exactly What Apple Should Be Building:
I read your article on LEM. It was a good article, but in my opinion that notebook is more like "the netbook Apple should be buying".
Guys who bought 12" iBooks and PowerBooks paid high prices when new, so a good "what Apple should be building" (to replace the 12' PowerBooks) was this Dell e4200.
Not only by the price tag, but the building quality, the hardware, everything.
Sorry for my bad English.
Greetings from Portugal,
André (happy iBook G3 user )
Your English is fine - a lot better than my Portuguese!
I'm glad you are getting good service from your G3 iBook. I liked mine.
The Averatech N2700 is, strictly speaking, not a netbook, because it has a Core 2 Duo processor, a bigger hard drive than most netbooks, comes with the non-netbook version of Windows, and few, if any, netbooks are available with 4 GB of RAM.
Thanks for your comment.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience with Wegener Media's repair service for the G3 iBook video issues. Mine is a 700 MHz 16 MB VRAM model and suddenly developed what I think is the legendary video chip issue. The computer powers on fine, looks to be booting, and then locks up about the time it hits the login window. The screen turns black, and the machine is completely locked. That is the video problem, right?
Right now I'm trying to decide between repairing the G3, buying a Dell Mini 9 and hoping for the best with an OS X conversion, or shooting for a used G4 iBook/early MacBook. I'd rather just stick with the G3, and if anyone has a success story or advice for a repair option I'd love to hear it.
What a machine that iBook is/was! I found it in absolutely mint condition on eBay about a year ago with a brand new spare battery. Maxed RAM and a nice pirate flag on the lid made it quite the mobile machine. I had hoped that it had already been through the Apple repair program earlier in its life, but now I suspect that its brand new condition meant that the previous owner hadn't used it enough to aggravate the video card.
I've been investigating my options online and am sure I have no business opening the iBook. I know Wegener is reputable, but I'd rather not spend $150 on an old laptop unless the repair is really worth it. A word of advice from the LEM community would be much appreciated.
Hard to diagnose whether it's the video issue from afar, but it's a likely guess given the symptoms you describe and that model's history of video troubles.
Personally, I would not recommend spending serious money on repairing a G3 iBook. My advice if you like these machines would be to pick up a refurbished one from Wegeners or elsewhere for very little more than $150 and use your old one as a parts mule.
Wegeners has 500 MHz G3 models starting at $169.99.
I'd definitely prefer one of those to a Dell Mini 9, although I would suggest you give a refurbished MacBook serious consideration.
The trouble with iBook repairs, over and above the cost versus the relative value of the machine, is that there's no way of knowing whether it will last or not. I have heard from or of several iBook owners who went through three or four successive iBook logic board replacements, done by Apple.
Just my 2 cents.
I don't know if you ever covered this about the older G3 PowerBooks, but if anyone out there is looking for a really cheap PCMCIA wireless card, all they need to do is get an old Apple AirPort base station, open it up, and take the PCMCIA card out of it. The Base Stations are nothing more than a "docking bay" for the PCMCIA card, so you take it apart, unplug the PCMCIA card, and stick it into your PowerBook G3. Works like a champ, is obviously AirPort compatible (duh), and the old base stations are super cheap (I paid $5 for mine).
Indeed! Super tip.
Editor's note: The Graphite AirPort Base Station has the Orinocco Silver PC Card. The White AirPort Base Station uses an Apple AirPort Card. dk
Your article links a column by David Pogue, "How Secure Is Your Wi-Fi Connection?" FYI, here's another, shorter URL that displays the article including reader comments, which may also be of interest.
Thanks for the link!
Thanks for the Eudora info. I've been using it (7) since 1997 too and have 210 folders and maybe 100 subfolders and close to 1000 mailboxes plus 150 filters.
That adds up to 37,440 files and 4.3G.
Sometimes I think it wasn't meant to be ridden like this and I'm going to break it.
When I go to Eudora 8, I may start from scratch. Kind like when you house burns down and months later you realize you didn't need 80% of what's gone.
Any good spam filter recommendations?
My Eudora Folder is a more modest 522 MB with 1,522 items - the accumulation of a dozen years - also since 1997 - but I'm semi-obsessive about keeping things weeded out.
However, my Thunderbird/Eudora 8 profile folder, after only a couple of months, is already 431.1 MB for 383 items.
I just imported my Eudora Mailboxes into Thunderbird (currently version 126.96.36.199). The Thunderbird folder is also used by Eudora 8.
The only spam filters I use are the ones applied by my various email services. I find that very little gets past Gmail's filters, and GMX and Yahoo! are good too, but Yahoo! has no free POP 3 support.
Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, and he is a news editor and columnist at Applelinks.com. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.
Recent articles by Charles W. Moore
- Apple's Great Hebrew Support, AirPort Express Silently Upgraded, Pismo G4, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.12.03. Also a WindowShade replacement approved by Apple, upgrding a 15" MacBook Pro, and three 13" MacBooks.
- Is There a Cure for a Smelly Mac?, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2012.07.30. For those suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, gases let of by a new computer can be no end of trouble.
- Optimizing PowerBook G4 Performance, TenFourFox May Run Faster with NoScript, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.07.18. Also pros and cons of Linux on G3 PowerBooks and iPhoto 11 no longer updating in Snow Leopard.
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Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: PowerBook 145, introduced 1992.08.03. About 70% faster than the 140, the 25 MHz 145 was quite a value.
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